OK, there is another culprit
unfortunately it is the KLINGONS
now one can hardly play Star Trek without the Klingons or The Romulans ?
So when I isolate the Klingons , the same CTD occurs on any sized map.
I reckon it has to be missing ships , i will test some more..
All confirmed , all races play fine as long as I do not use Romulan or Klingon ships but ...